I am well aware of how privileged we are to be doing this job. This time, our passion for scuba diving took us 11,000 km away from Serbia, to South Africa.
Before our journey, we couldn’t have even imagined meeting some of the most amazing creatures of the Indian Ocean, but while on it, we met seals, dolphins, whales, sharks, penguins, albatrosses, and even the great white shark!
Our hosts were the owners of Expert Tours Agency, Silke Schimpf and Rainer Schimpf. These very kind, professional, fellow Mares Ambassadors did everything to make every day of our trip, which was so far away from home, interesting and memorable. Each day we covered more than 100km on the speedboat, searching for adventure both below and above the sea's surface. Our days were filled with fantastic dives and our evenings with phenomenal local cuisine from all the best restaurants.
While diving at the reefs, we were accompanied by Ragged Tooth sharks. A pleasant 21°C water temperature was quite a surprise, and the visibility was an expected 10m. The underwater currents moving us tens of meters back and forth, though slowly, were new for us. This was particularly interesting when we tried to take photos, but the sea had other plans. It was a barrier we had to overcome. Kind of like a washing machine movement, though we haven't yet dived in one. There, we saw something extraordinary. The reef was remarkably healthy, with vibrant colors, covered with sponges, soft corals, and anemones, surrounded by shoals of various fish species.
We very much enjoyed the company of the friendly seals which belong to the wider group of eared seals. Their ears enable them to rely on their hearing while they hunt. Their flippers are well adapted to walking on land, which help them to take a break from navigating the waters filled with great white sharks.
Being around whales was an almost every day activity. These gracious giants are nearly 16 meters long and can weigh up to 30 tons. They tend to leave people speechless after an encounter.
Every time you meet a dolphin (or a few of them) during a dive, you get overwhelmed with an incredible flow of emotion. How about meeting a pod of 400 dolphins??? South Africa is not a place you simply visit, it is a complete experience!
Finally, the strongest impression that was left on me was a close face-to-face encounter with the great white shark. After the encounter, I had the biggest smile on my face because the Great White is the creature I respect and love most in the underwater world.
We are likely to go on this journey again since it represents the adventure every scuba diver dreams of!
Written by Ivana OK
Photos by Ivana OK and Janez Kranjc
For diving in South Africa, we went with https://expert-tours.de/en/